Create Matching Questions

On paper, a matching question has two columns of items, and students draw lines or otherwise identify the item in the second column that matches each item in the first column. In WebAssign, only the first column of items is displayed; each item in the first column has a drop-down list of the items in the second column.

image showing a representation of a simple matching question on paper and in WebAssign
Note Although you can add extra unmatched items to one of the columns, there must be a one-to-one correspondence between items in the two columns. You cannot create a matching question in which choices are reused. To do this, create a series of multiple-select or multiple-choice questions.

By default, the choices in each column are displayed in random order when the question is used.

  1. Click Questions > Create. The Question Editor opens.
  2. In Name, type a name for the question.
  3. In Mode, select Matching.
  4. In Question, type your question.
  5. In Answer, type each first-column item on a separate line followed by the characters {tab} and its matching second-column item. Press Enter after each line.
    • To add the {tab} operator, either type the characters {tab} or click Add tab.You cannot enter {tab} by pressing the Tab key.
    • Because second-column items are displayed in a drop-down list, they are displayed without any text formatting. If you need to include text formatting, such as chemical or math notation, see Match Formatted Notation or Images.
  6. If you want to specify additional distractors — second-column items that do not match any first-column item — type them in Answer on separate lines following the correct answers. Press ENTER after each line.
  7. Optional: Type a Solution.

    The solution helps your students understand the steps they need to take to determine the correct answer to the question. Your assignment settings specify when to show the solution.

  8. Click Test/Preview to test the appearance and behavior of the question. See Test Questions.
  9. Click Redisplay to show certain kinds of errors in the Display section of the Question Editor. Make any needed changes to your question.
  10. Optional: Click Show Additional Information and change the question's sharing permission or add descriptive information.
    • By default, other instructors can use your question only if you provide them with the question ID, and only you can edit the question or find it in search results. To change the permission, see Share Questions With Other Instructors.
    • If you make your question publicly available, you might want to provide descriptive information to help others search for it. See Add Search Metadata to Questions.
  11. When your question displays and functions correctly, click Save.

    WebAssign assigns it a unique question ID (QID), which is displayed in parentheses after the question name.

    You can use your question in an assignment and see it in your My Questions list only after it is saved.

Example Matching Question

The following table summarizes an actual question.




Template2 2.MATCH.01.




Match the city with the country.


Paris {tab} France
London {tab} Great Britain
Madrid {tab} Spain
Moscow {tab} Russia
Athens {tab} Greece

Display to Students

Question as displayed to students